Tens of millions without power following blackout across South America

Macri said Argentina is investigating the incident, which began with an as yet unexplained fault in its power grid that led to outages in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.

Electricity is gradually being restored in Argentina and Uruguay after a widespread blackout Sunday morning that officials blamed on a power transmission system failure.

"A massive failure in the electrical interconnection system left all Argentina and Uruguay without power", Edesur Argentina said on Twitter.

The outage was caused by a failure affecting the Yacyreta transport system, causing power to be cut automatically and triggering a grid failure at 7:07 a.m. local time, the Energy Ministry said.

Voters cast ballots by the light of cell phones in gubernatorial elections in Argentina.

It was unclear how many people had been affected by the blackout, but the nations have a combined population of more than 45 million.

The blackout took out Argentina's public transportation services.

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"There are already coastal cities with service and work continues toward general restoration", it said.

"Huge blackout in Argentina: the City, the Province of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe were left in the dark", a news agency posted on Twitter.

A vendor waits for customers during a nationwide blackout, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Sunday, June 16, 2019.

The cause of the failure is under investigation, the company said.

"Most of the country has been paralysed, not only by this massive electricity outage but also because of enormous storms that have been hitting Argentina for the past few days".

Argentine electric company Edesur said that some 450,000 clients had power restored by 11:53 a.m., with hospitals taking priority. Tierra del Fuego is the only area that remains unaffected. She said her biggest concern was that electricity be restored in time to watch the national team play in the Copa America football tournament Sunday evening. He has cut red tape, and tried to reduce the government's budget deficit by ordering job cuts and reducing utility subsidies, which he maintained was necessary to recuperate lost revenue due to years-long mismanagement of the electricity sector.

"This is the first time something like this has happened across the entire country", Martinez said, according to BBC.

  • Sonia Alvarado